RED BOILING SPRINGS, Tenn.- A father of two was gunned down over the weekend and investigators believe the 40-year-old victim unknowingly walked into a death trap.
Family members of Donald Anderson spoke to News Channel 5 about the murder that has left them in shock.They said Anderson likely thought he was going to pick up items for a yard sale on Saturday morning at a house, but instead investigators said he was gunned down by a man secretly waiting for him at the home.
"We are devastated. We are just devastated," said Anderson's mother, Martha York.
Their family has now been forced to do something they never thought they'd have to do: bury the 40-year-old father of two.
"It's hard, we never would have expected anything like this. Especially with Donald," said his younger brother, Gorden Vincent.
Especially considering how he died. Anderson unknowingly walked into a death trap at a home in Whitleyville. The home belonged to the parents of 21-year-old Joseph Lawson.
"It was premeditated, it was horrible," said York.
Family believes Anderson thought he was picking up yard sale items and had no idea that 21-year-old Joseph Lawson was waiting with a rifle at the home to shoot and kill Anderson.
"We'd just like to know what he said that made my son go down there and get killed. We would like to know, I want to know the words. Because my son would never go anywhere and just walk into danger," said York.
Investigators said Anderson lived just long enough to name Lawson as his killer.
A TBI spokesperson believes a recent new relationship was motive for the shooting; Lawson used to date Anderson's girlfriend. In fact, Lawson was just at a family cookout with the entire Anderson family a few weeks ago and York said he gave no indication of what was to come.
"How can I think bad about this boy who sat at my island and ate my food? And he was a friendly type of guy. How can I think bad of him?" questioned York.
Anderson's family said no argument is worth a life, and they hope others will remember that before something tragic like this happens again.
"Figure it out like a man would. Talk your problems out and if you have to fight, fight. But don't take a father, you can't take a father from his kids," said Vincent.
Lawson fled the scene after the shooting on Saturday morning and TBI arrested Lawson after a manhunt through rural Macon and Jackson counties. He is charged with criminal homicide.
Joseph Lawson is also a member of the National Guard and served in Iraq.